We live in an instant world, folks.
Text messages allow others to contact us at any given moment, our phones light up when our attention is needed for an email, a ‘like’ or when a DM rolls in, and we are almost always expected to document our lives as they unfold under the premise ‘pics or it didn’t happen’.
In an age where we feel lost without our smart phones, when we are so deeply addicted to technology, it’s more crucial than ever to disconnect, slow down and take the time to genuinely LOOK UP!
We can get so caught up in being productive and getting everything done all at once, that we forget there is so much abundance and vitality and LIFE happening right outside our doors.
But unfortunately, we rarely look past the edge of our nose to truly appreciate it.
And our phones have a place. They really, truly do. We live in a tech friendly world (and tech is AMAZING!!) but damn, the cost can be high. Missing the moment. The connection. The sense of place and belonging.
Have you ever spent an afternoon in Nature and the whole time had your head in your phone? Documenting it all, editing, commenting. Sending pictures and checking in over and over? And then, at the end of the day, realized you missed it? You missed the whole damn thing? Yeah, you were there, but you werent FULLY there.
Yeah, us too.
So, next time you find yourself in the wild, here are 3 reasons to put away the damn phone!!
Here at AQG we definitely need the reminder, and thought you might too…
1. Wild Spaces Heal Us
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” – Edward Abbey.
Oh man. These places take care of us. These wild and winding trails. These perfect and harmonious pockets of the planet. They really truly HEAL us.
Research from all over the world is showing that people who have regular access to wild spaces have fewer health complaints and actually live longer. There is a chemical called phytoncides in some species of trees that can reduce stress hormones, lower anxiety and improve blood pressure and immunity.
Say what??? Yeah, she legit heals us.
More about those studies here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20413584
2. Our Bodies Wake Up
One disconnected walk outside and you begin to notice the smells around you, the way the breeze and the sun feel on your skin, how shade provides the perfect cool down and how nature draws you in to FULLY experience with all of your senses.
When you simply stand surrounded by nature and take a few deep breaths, your awareness of this beautiful world becomes spectacular and you’re left feeling totally alive and immersed in the sensory experience the world naturally offers us.
Getting high on our own supply!
These heightened senses can deeply improve the way we experience our surroundings and how we interact with others. Everything is truly brighter. Full of peace and possibility.
3. Disconnect to Reconnect
In a world where we are always connected, we've actually never been more disconnected. From ourselves and from each other.
While our phones may give us a fleeting sense of connectedness, it’s a false sense of true community that is necessary for deep belonging and understanding. Brene Brown says in her book, Braving the Wilderness, “Research shows that playing cards once a week or meeting friends every Wednesday night at Starbucks adds as many years to our lives as taking beta blockers or quitting a pack-a-day smoking habit.”
Disconnecting from these screens to spend time mindfully in nature with your people has the immense power to draw deeper, more raw and meaningful connections. In times of hurt, in times of celebration, in times of need, we can look to those human connections for real-life support.
Also, science totally proves this to be true!!
In 2014, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, studied the potential impacts of nature on the willingness to be generous, trusting, and helpful toward others, while also considering what factors might influence that relationship. The result, in a nutshell, was that researchers concluded experiencing the beauty of nature increases positive emotion—perhaps by inspiring awe, a feeling akin to wonder, with the sense of being part of something bigger than oneself—which then leads to more social and communal relationships.
You can read more about those studies here.
So, yeah. Spending time outdoors is the bomb diggity.
The moments we spend LOOKING UP when adventuring into the wild are the moments that have the power to recalibrate our emotions, our stress-levels, our productivity and, really, our entire sense of wellbeing.
So grab your people, put your phones away, and get outside to create more meaningful experiences and relationships.